SAN FRANCISCO - Larry Scott wants individual states to stay out of NCAA business.
The Pac-12 may be affected more than any other conference when the “Fair Pay to Play Act” becomes law in California in 2023. The law that passed last week will allow players to be paid for their name, image and likeness in ways that are currently not allowed by the NCAA.
“I will say as a conference, we’ve got real concerns about a state-by-state approach to managing college sports,” Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner, said at women’s basketball media day Monday at conference headquarters. “Schools recruit nationally, compete for national championships, so there have to be common rules that apply. I don’t think state-by-state legislators deciding how college sports should run is the way to go and we’re going to be very active in trying to seek a national response and solution.”
The law creates the possibility of recruiting advantages for schools in California, including four in the Pac-12.
“If young people want to earn money from their name, image, and likeness and get paid to play, they should have that opportunity,” Scott said. “That’s called pro sports. College sports is different. You go to get an education. It’s amateur, they are students. Those are the defining characteristics and we’d like to see those lines not get blurred and the interest in college sports become diminished.”
Oregon senior Sabrina Ionescu, who has more than 22 million Twitter followers, has reached a level of fame where she could profit off her basketball talents if it were allowed by the NCAA.
“I hope whatever they decide to do everything in the best interest of the student-athletes,” Ionescu said while adding she hasn’t paid close attention to the law. “Hopefully, they will continue to figure out what is best for the student-athletes.”
Oregon coach Kelly Graves said he would support doing more for college athletes “because they work real hard and there is value in sharing some of that with them”.
“Whatever we can do to help the athlete experience is important,” he said. “However, I am one who believes that there is value in a scholarship.”
Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said he’s worried how paying players would alter college sports.
“If this classroom were to be changed in some way that would impact negatively, it would make me sad,” Rueck said. “I don’t know what the answers are. It’s an overwhelming issue to my brain right now with what I know. I don’t know what the solution could possibly be to make everyone happy, I just know that from my perspective this is an incredible opportunity for all of us. It’s an incredible process to be a part of in the way that I’ve been blessed in all these years. I don’t want that part to change.”
STAY IN VEGAS
The Pac-12 announced it will keep both of its basketball tournaments in Las Vegas through 2022.
The men’s event, which moved to Las Vegas eight years ago, will remain at the T-Mobile Arena. The women’s tournament moved from Seattle to Las Vegas last year, but moves from MGM Grand Garden Arena to Mandalay Bay Events Center this season.
The two tournaments will remain at those sites through 2022 with the women’s tournament being played the week prior to the men’s tournament.
All-tournament passes for the women’s tournament March 5-8 went on sale Monday while tickets for the men’s event March 11-14 are available beginning on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Passes for the women’s tournament begin at $105 while men’s tickets start at $240.